Tranexamic Acid Administration is Associated With a Decreased Odds of Prosthetic Joint Infection Following Primary Total Hip and Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty: A National Database Analysis

J Arthroplasty. 2021 Mar;36(3):1109-1113. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2020.10.003. Epub 2020 Oct 12.


Background: Tranexamic acid (TXA) for the reduction of blood loss in orthopedic surgery is coming into greater adoption. Because TXA administration lowers the incidence of blood transfusion and of hematoma formation, risk factors for infection, we asked whether TXA use might be associated with a lower incidence of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) following orthopedic surgery.

Methods: We queried the Premier Healthcare database for ICD-9 codes corresponding to elective inpatient primary total hip replacement (THR) or total knee replacement (TKR) from 2012 to 2016, TXA administration on the day of surgery, and PJI during the hospital stay or within 90 days. We performed a multilevel multivariable logistic regression (SAS version 9.4. SAS Institute, Cary, NC) to determine if TXA administration or other covariates were a significant predictor of infection.

Results: Among 914,990 total joint arthroplasty patients, 46.0% received TXA on the day of surgery. 0.13% developed PJI within 90 days. After adjusting for patient and hospital-related covariates, TXA use was associated with significantly lower odds of PJI within 90 days of surgery (OR 0.49 [0.69, 0.91]).

Conclusion: Administration of TXA on the day of surgery in total knee and total hip arthroplasty was associated with a statistically significant decreased odds of PJI in the first 90 days. We therefore conclude that TXA might play an important role in our attempts to decrease PJI after joint arthroplasty. The exact mechanisms and ideal dosage by which TXA can contribute to such a reduction need further study.

Keywords: prosthetic joint infection; total joint replacement; tranexamic acid.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / adverse effects
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee* / adverse effects
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Humans
  • Tranexamic Acid*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Tranexamic Acid